Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Do I write right?

I have to wonder at myself, sometimes. Why do I write, and Why do I think I can write, are two of the most consistent questions in my brain, lately. But I have no answer. It's not like I would die if I couldn't write, anymore...except that I probably would. It's not like I have so much to say...except that I think I do. My world is nothing if not a mass of non-stop contradictions.

I fight writing...until I'm doing it, and then I fight stopping. I hate what I've done...except I don't, because it gives me the springboard to what is needed. I argue with my characters and where the story wants to go...and find joy in the journey.

Going over The Lyons' Den the last few weeks has brought all of this to the fore and is affecting my work on The Alice '65...which is both good and bad, since it's upped the What the hell am I doing quotient...and which will then affect Place of Safety, but in ways I think will be good since I can now let Brendan have joy and fun in his story...if I'm not fooling myself into thinking that's appropriate, again.

I can do that -- convince myself that something I have written is fantastic then look at it a year later and cringe at how god-awful it is and want to rewrite it now, now, now. BUT...I didn't feel that way with LD. Yes, parts could be made simpler to better effect...and were I to shift it back to being an screenplay, it would be a lot different from the play and script I did,'s just...when all is said and done, I liked it.

And that's freaking me out.

I've received wildly divergent reactions to LD -- from lavish praise to You suck as writer, so I wasn't able to gauge if it really was any good. And I still don't have the self-confidence in my writing ability to shrug and tell critics, Such is your opinion; I like it like it is.

Except I do. I enjoyed the chaos and messiness of the story and the characters and the sloppy rhythm of it...more like free-form jazz than a minuet. And the whole thing has shifted into a case of It is what it is and if you don't like it, you don't.

Which is a big deal, to me.

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